Buying Property in Singapore as a Foreigner

What asset classes can foreigners purchase in Singapore?

Tax matters, stamp duty
  • Private condominiums or apartments
  • Strata landed houses in condominiums
  • Resale ECs that have reached their 5-year MOP
  • Landed properties in Sentosa Cove
  • Landed properties (with special permission from Singapore Land Authority)
  • Any commercial property
  • Shophouses zoned commercial

Private Residential Properties

In Singapore, the government provides the option of subsidized public housing, to keep housing affordable to every Singapore citizen, also known as HDBs or HDB flats. Residential properties that fall outside this category are known as private properties.


The restrictions mainly apply to buying landed property in Singapore. You will need to write to the Land Dealings Approval Unit when looking to purchase the following:

  • Vacant residential land
  • Terrace house
  • Semi-detached house
  • Bungalow/detached house
  • Strata landed house which is not within an approved condominium development under the Planning Act (e.g. townhouse or cluster house)
  • Shophouse (for non-commercial use)

The approval is on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants stand a better chance if they can show proof that they have made an “exceptional economic contribution to Singapore”.


Do I need to pay additional taxes if I am a foreigner buying property in Singapore?

Yes, 20% ABSD applies. Unless you are a citizen or PR of These Free Trade Agreement Countries:
·       Iceland
·       Liechtenstein
·       Norway
·       Switzerland
·       United States of America (only citizens; does not apply to PRs)
Under the respective Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), nationals or Permanent Residents of the following countries enjoy the same ABSD rates as Singaporeans.
In other words, they are exempted from ABSD for the first property, but will still need to pay ABSD for the second and subsequent properties.

Can a foreigner buy a house in Singapore?

Yes, but certain restrictions apply such as type of housing.